What Is Taffeta Fabric? A Fabric Guide

We’ve been getting lots of enquiries about taffeta fabric recently & we’re putting its popularity down to the fact that both wedding & prom seasons are upon us and taffeta is a very popular choice for posh frocks!

With its crisp finish & subtle sheen, it’s not surprising taffeta is a go-to fabric choice for special occasion garments.

Get 10% off Taffeta fabric with code TAFFETA10

Taffeta’s not just for posh frocks tho! It’s also great for luxe home furnishings – think glam cushions and curtains!

Here’s a quick summary of taffeta fabric & some top sewing tips…


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What is Taffeta Fabric?

Taffeta is a fine, crisp, noisy woven fabric with a gorgeous sheen that also rustles when you walk!

The word “taffeta” derives from the Persian word tafta, which means “glossy twist”. Originally the fabric was woven with highly twisted silk fibres and it’s the highly twisted yarn that gives taffeta its characteristic crispness.

These days taffeta can be found made from a variety of modern fibres such as nylon, viscose, polyester, acetate, or even a blend of these fibres making it an affordable & accessible fabric choice.


What Can Taffeta Fabric be used for?

Taffeta is very versatile fabric nad makes great

  • dresses
  • bridal wear
  • evening dresses
  • prom dresses
  • suits
  • blouses
  • linings
  • lingerie
  • costumes
  • hats
  • bags
  • curtains
  • cushions
  • lampshades.
Taffeta dress

Tips for Sewing with Taffeta Fabric

  • Needle size: It’s best to use a Sharps needle with taffeta for both machine and hand sewing. On a sewing machine it’s best to use sizes 60/10 – 80/12 – depending on the weight of the taffeta
  • Stitch length: Use 1.7-2.5mm. Hold the fabric taught when sewing to help prevent puckering.
  • Thread: All purpose cotton or polyester thread.
  • Machine Feet: use a wide straight stitch foot or roller foot.
  • Layout: Use the “With Nap” layout when cutting out a pattern especially if your taffeta is iridescent
  • Fabric markers: Any type are suitable EXCEPT wax. Mark lightly and a little as possible. Ensure your test on a scrap of fabric!
  • Pins: pins can permanently mark taffeta so you may wish to consider using weights or clips but extra fine pins can often be used. If you find your fabric has pin holes these might be removed by gently scratching the fabric where the hole is. These extra fine pins are amazing and highly recommended!
  • Pressing: Use a warm, dry iron and press on the wrong side where possible. Always use a press cloth if pressing the right side of a garment as it’s better o be safe than sorry. Always test press on a fabric scrap before pressing your garment.
  • Taffeta does not ease well so choose a style of pattern that allows for this. Curves like princess seams might be an issue. You may consider reducing the ease in a sleeve cap if you’re having trouble setting in a sleeve.
  • Taffeta can crease easily which can be greatly reduced by underlining a garment with silk organza or net.
  • Interfacing: It’s best to use sew in interfacing with taffeta to offer more stability and because iron on interfacing requires steam , which taffeta doesn’t like.

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Taffest Skirt.jpg

Well I hope you taffeta sewists found that helpful! Are you planning on using taffeta on a project soon? Please let us know how you get on, if these tips helped you and do feel free to send us some photos of your creations! We always love to see them….

10 thoughts on “What Is Taffeta Fabric? A Fabric Guide”

  1. Doing story research on fabrics in the 1800s and needed to know what taffeta was. Thank you! I think I’ll subscribe; I’m sure your knowledge (and especially, excellent descriptions) of fabric will come in handy again!

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